McCaul Bill to Improve DHS Cyber Mission Clears Homeland Security Committee

May 15, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Michael T. McCaul (R-TX), the Lead Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Chairman Emeritus on the House Homeland Security Committee, spoke at the Homeland Security Committee mark up on his legislation, the DHS Cyber Incident Response Teams Act of 2019. Upon passage, McCaul released the following statement:

Congressman McCaul: “When cyber-attacks occur, expertise at the highest level is needed. Cyber Incident Response teams provide a coordinated, strong response that keeps our digital networks resilient and secure.

“These teams operate as cyber first responders, mitigating damage and ensuring organizations are restored. I’m proud to introduce legislation that ensures DHS can foster collaboration between the private and public sectors. This will ensure our nation can continue to adapt to the constant changes in the cyber landscape.

You can click here or on the image below to view Congressman McCaul’s remarks at today’s committee markup.

Below are Congressman McCaul’s remarks as prepared:

I would like to thank Congressmen Langevin, Ratcliffe, Ruppersberger, and Katko for joining me in introducing my bill under consideration at this markup, the Cyber Incident Response Teams Act of 2019.

In November 2018, while I was Chairman, my bill, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Act was signed into law by President Trump to reorganize the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) and create CISA.

This important legislation elevated the cyber mission at DHS and strengthened America’s cybersecurity.

Since then, it has been my goal to build off CISA’s continued success and solidify our nation’s defenses against cyber threats.

As adversaries look to exploit our networks, we must be prepared to tackle the threats of the future.

The legislation that we are now considering is an innovative and strong addition to ensuring we have an important mechanism to respond to cyber incidents.  

Specifically, my bill ensures that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has cyber incident response teams to aid federal agencies and the private sector in identifying, responding to, and mitigating cybersecurity threats.

These teams assist compromised cyber-assets with response efforts and provide recommendations for improving networks.

CISA’s cyber incident response teams lead the way in protecting our nation’s cyber infrastructure and operate as our first responders to cyber-attacks.

Furthermore, this legislation enables DHS to foster collaboration between the public and private sector by allowing specialists to operate on cyber incident response teams that maximize our efforts to combat cyber threats.

The United States must continue to evolve and strengthen our cybersecurity capabilities to ensure we are one step ahead of our threats that face the homeland. This bipartisan legislation passed the House last Congress and it is my hope we can get it across the finish line this year.

I thank my colleagues for their support of this important legislation and I yield the balance of my time.